St. Stanislaus’ Action Plan for Reopening of Masses

May 31, 2020

Dear friends,

On June 5, 2020 Montgomery county will move into the “yellow phase,” and accordingly Archbishop Perez has announced that all parishes will be able to resume public celebration of the Mass beginning June 6, 2020. What does this mean for St. Stanislaus?

First, we are extremely excited to welcome you back … if you are willing and able. Churches are open, but the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation is still suspended by the Archbishop during this time. That means, and understand this please, there is no requirement to attend Mass at this time. It is extremely important that you do not feel pressured to resume regular Sunday Mass attendance simply because we are open. If you are sick, if you are at a higher risk of illness with COVID-19, if you present any type of symptom such as fever, coughing, sneezing, please stay home. As always, consult your doctor for advice on your overall health. Some of us may fear the reality of this unseen virus and want to continue safe quarantine practices. We love you and miss you and understand that when the time is right we will see you again.

We will be resuming the regular Mass schedule, beginning with the 5:15 pm Mass on Saturday June 6, 2020. We have been hearing confessions throughout the quarantine at 4:00pm on Saturday and that will continue. Masses will be offered on Sunday at the normal times of 7:00am, 9:00am, and 11:00am (in English); and 1:00pm (in Spanish). We also will continue to provide a Mass online for the foreseeable future. Please, if you are unable to attend Mass continue to stay connected through the online option. The normal daily Mass schedule will resume Monday June 8 in the main Church.

We will be following the guidelines established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the CDC and in communion with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as follows: (A video with these instructions will be posted later this week)

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds as recommended prior to arrival at church.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the church.
  • All congregants (except children under 2 and those with medical exemption) must wear a face mask, or cloth covering in Church as recommended.
  • Misalettes have been removed from the Church.
  • Bulletins will be placed on the windowsills spaced throughout the church and will contain the readings for each Mass, so feel free to take one before Mass begins. (Fight the temptation to browse during the Homily ). Please take these home with you. We ask that you not leave them behind.
  • Church pews will be sanitized before every Mass.
  • Seating is available only in designated pews.
  • Upon entering the Church, proceed to open pews immediately. We are not able to congregate at doors or in aisles at this time.
  • Families and parishioners in the same household may sit in the same pew in proximity. All others must practice social distance recommendations of 6 feet. Pews are designated to facilitate this.
  • There will be no procession of the gifts at this time.
  • Collection baskets will be placed throughout the Church. If you are inclined, place envelopes in any basket you feel comfortable when entering or leaving the church.
  • Maintain social distancing at all times

Reception of Holy Communion:

During the Yellow phase, the faithful, out of an abundance of caution for all, are asked to receive Holy Communion on the hand. If after prayerful consideration, you wish to receive on the tongue, there will be a communion station in the sanctuary by the Tabernacle Altar rail. The priest at this station will sanitize his hands thoroughly after each communicant has received. Please be patient and understanding with all parishioners in their freedom to discern reception of Holy Communion.

  • There will be three stations for communion in the front of Church.
  • Directions will be announced at each Mass for the flow of Communion.
  • Upon approaching a minister, maintain 6 feet of separation from the person in front of you in line. There will be tape on the Church floor to assist.
  • Please be patient during Communion and do not leave your pew until there is 6 feet of space from the next parishioner.
  • Prior to receiving Communion, remove your facemask when directly in front of the Minister.
  • Extend your hands as much as possible to maintain distance.
  • Consume the Blessed Sacrament and replace your Mask over your face before moving to return to your pew.

Exiting the Church
When leaving after Mass, allow for safe social distancing and leave expediently. Please be patient and leave through all doors while remaining 6 feet apart. We must have time to sanitize the pews after each Mass. This means no socializing or congregating after Mass in the body of the Church.  We ask that you also refrain from gathering around cars and doors of the Church. While you may feel comfortable at this time, others may wish to get to their cars and return home.

It pains me to read the many restrictions for worship during this time. However, as you can see, we are taking seriously your safety, as well as our own. I know that there are differing opinions on this throughout the country right now, and that means they may be present in our community. Our mission is to facilitate communal worship in a way that respects everyone. Please love your neighbors and respect each other with patience during this time. It is the hallmark of our faith as Christians, to consider the needs of others before our own. We are asking this sacrifice from all to preserve our unity and to promote communion as a parish. St. Paul had to fight for this during his day in every Church he visited. May we, through his intercession, achieve that goal during this phase of reopening. We are learning, and we will need your help in making our experience as pleasant as possible. What a joy it is to be able to worship God again in community. And how great is it that we, who have been hungering for the Lord in Holy Communion, may now receive Him as One Body again.

May God Bless you,

Fr. Sean